Last weekend we had a lot of fun exploring the area.
Friday, the 6th, was Waitangi Day which commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between the British settlers and the Maori people. There are definitely different interpretations of whether the treaty is being honored properly. It has been very interesting to hear several perspectives. Everyone seems to agree that the mis-translation of the original treaty is the cause of the disagreement, but they also seem to agree that the mis-translation was just that and not intended to deceive. It was suggested to us to go to the festival at Porirua because it is a more multicultural event, so we did, and it was. We had a really good time.
On Saturday we visited Te Papa Museum in downtown Wellington. We went to a temporary exhibit on Tyrannosauruses. Turns out T-Rex was just one type of tyrannosaurus. We spent three hours at the museum and barely saw half of one of the four floors, so we will be heading back tonight to continue our visit.
Sunday we drove a couple hours to Cape Palliser to see more seals. We saw a whole colony this time (see the video of the babies on the Photos & Videos page). It was so exciting! We also visited the light house which is the southern most point on the North Island of New Zealand.
It has been a busy week. On Monday we attended a Powhiri (a special Maori welcome) at Victoria University. We certainly have been made to feel welcome where ever we have gone.
We got Zelda enrolled at Island Bay School on Tuesday, just in time to take part in their Powhiri. We were so excited that we already knew one of the waiata (songs) from the day before. I've been singing it all week. She is already making new friends. Her school is very progressive, so I'm looking forward to spending some time there to learn what I can from them.
Felix and Carlo are enrolled at South Wellington Intermediate School (known as SWIS around these parts). They have to wear uniforms, which is a first for us, but they like not having to think about what to wear in the mornings. They are very excited to have recess again. Even the middle schools have playgrounds here!
Both schools offer a lot more time for kids to socialize and have unstructured play. They get 45-60 minutes for lunch. They have to sit and eat for the first 10 minutes. After that they are allowed to go play and have a choice of several different areas to choose from.
Bruno and Andrea arrived safely on Wednesday afternoon, which makes our family finally complete here! I've been making lots of connections, and I began classes and school visits (see Idea Toolkit page for more info) on Thursday.
All and all, I think we are off to a flash* start. Now it is Friday and time to continue exploring!